As market conditions force housebuilders to mothball live developments, a UK security man asks what preparations they are making for security at these now dormant sites?
Jot Engelbrecht, operations and training director at Octavian Security highlights the security measures he believes housebuilders should be considering.
Sites are now being closed across the country with substantial quantities of expensive building materials left on site, making attractive pickings for criminals who may consider the sites now ‘off the builder’s radar’. Our experience shows that dormant sites are more prone to incidents of trespass and theft and in this market where everyone is struggling, building materials will have an even greater value to the criminal fraternity.
We believe that for high value sites manned guarding is still the most economically viable option – even in these tough times. But for the lower value sites, of which most housebuilders will probably have a large number, we believe that a remote monitoring solution with some other measures strictly adhered to, would be the best market downturn security solution. Remote monitoring is a good alternative to consider for lower value sites, as it offers large savings when compared to manned guarding solutions. It’s imperative that there is a response unit operating – one that can be alerted once an alarm is raised from the security monitoring station of the security provider.
With a remote monitoring programme in place, housebuilders should also factor in a number of other measures and checks. Fencing is crucial for any site’s perimeter and make sure that it provides a real deterrent – the higher, more sturdy and impenetrable the better. Also it’s essential to make sure that there is very visible signage to show that the site is secured and act as an initial deterrent to prospective intruders. When managing the security provider who is to carry out the remote patrolling, ensure that they have an effective screening policy for security officers and that they are able to stagger their patrol times to stop criminals mapping their visits and trespass in between.
Assess the contractors going on site (if there are any) who may be moving materials from site to site or undertaking small tasks, and also carry out vigilant inventories of stock and re-check on a regular basis. Housebuilders have closed sites to save money and with the correct strategy utilising their own security teams or external suppliers, they will ensure that the sites become as little as burden as possible, until they are back up and running again.
About Octavian Security: The company’s client base includes, Boots, Sainsbury’s, The BBC, ITV Granada, Ascot, The Royal Opera House and Nottingham City Council – to name but a few. UK head office is based in Nottingham.